When it rains it’s good to have umbrellas, jackets and waterproofed shoes. Jack would tell you, “Boots. You need Wellingtons,” and, “If it rains, if it starts raining, stop camping, don’t chance it.” Some people resent authority so Jack is not saying any of this to you exactly. The sorts of advice we can offer is weather-based and totally optional, like sunscreen or underwear.
If you set up camp in a pit, be aware of the problems you may encounter. Nothing is definite or fixed the way books make you think. In fact, everything spirals. Think of a Radiohead song. But it’s good to be sure of what to expect in any given situation, if you’re able to suspend your beliefs for a second and assert ‘sure’ as a workable concept.
1. There will be other people. There always are.
2. Fabric wears. A sixty quid tent will unravel like designer clothes you can find on the high street: simply, and within a few months.
3. Food struggles in sand but some months the ground’s cold enough to fridge things. You’re close to cryogenic.
4. You’ll hear traffic. You’ll remember house sounds and slip them in the landscape. You’ll ache for footsteps on the synthetic roof, traffic coming into earshot and going again, instead of swirling.
5. Pity is hard to come by in certain financial climates.
6. There’s no rent if the land’s fair game and no electricity either.
7. Your ex-girlfriend won’t care like she should or she might or you’d expect in a romantic comedy.
8. You’ll have a lot of floor space. Jack says, “That’s site-specific.”